Unmanned aerial systems mission task element development: Lessons learned from flight test

P. Chase Schulze, David H. Klyde, Justin P. Miller, Curt Olson, Christopher Regan, Natalia Alexandrov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As unmanned aerial systems (UAS) become ever more prevalent and diverse in their application (control line inspection, package delivery, surveillance, etc.), their inclusion in the national airspace is unavoidable. New use cases for these vehicles are being formed every day, and the variety of their design forms (fixed wing, rotorcraft, quad-copters and greater, tail sitters, etc.) and sizes (0.55 to 10’s of thousands of pounds) will prove challenging to certify. To meet the stringent requirements of both the government and public expectations of safety, a robust procedure must be established through which the vehicle’s handling and flying qualities can be determined. In the realm of manned vehicles, this has been accomplished through the application of longstanding requirements on vehicle performance, dynamics, and controllability as defined by the Federal Aviation Regulations in the civilian world or standards, such as MIL-STD-1797, in the military domain. For military rotorcraft, a mission-oriented approach has been in usage for decades, as defined in ADS-33E-PRF, and is well accepted by the rotorcraft community. To address the issue of UAS certification, a team led by Systems Technology Inc. developed a process to guide the UAS community through the handling qualities evaluation of a UAS. Given the current and expected diversity in vehicle type, size and mission, the mission-oriented approach was selected for this application. A demonstration catalog of candidate mission task elements (MTE), specific tasks with well-defined evaluation processes and criteria, have been defined and flight tested using a representative UAS. The results of these evaluations are presented herein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 6 2020Jan 10 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.


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